Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Do You Remember?

Pascagoula Run's empty slip
This morning, coffee in hand, I headed down the dock two slips to our friends Joel and Emily's boat Pascagoula Run to crew for Joel as he made the first 22 mile run of his cruising adventure. It was sunny and warm, the sky azure, punctuated with cotton puffs and Osprey. The water was a deep navy blue with light ripples dancing across the surface, beckoning.

Tim wistfully looking on
Joel, his dad and I cast off the lines as a wistful Tim looked on from the dock before heading off for his day as Worker Man. Fenders were stowed and lines coiled. Tracking was started, routes up and running, and Pascagoula Run's bow was pointed out the ever-so-narrow exit from the boatyard's basin.

Bow pointed out the exit of the boatyard
Two opening bridges later, we entered Sarasota Bay, a smallish piece of sailable water in the ICW, a rare treat. Electing to roll out just the headsail for the short run down the bay, Pascagoula Run tracked right down the rhumb line at a respectable 4.7 knots, close hauled. Rolling up the sails 4 miles later to pass under the Ringling bridge, the engine back online, we turned eastward and picked up a mooring ball at Marina Jack's. Within minutes the dolphins showed up to lend their seal of approval.

It was a good day. It was good to be reminded of how far we've come these last few years, to remember our first opening bridge with our halting radio communications, to remember our nervous nailbiting as we approached our first fixed bridge and refused to see how our mast could actually fit beneath it, to remember the first time we picked up a mooring, complete with audience. It was good to see how completely this life has become ours, and to realize again that this is life at its best - full, rich, zesty, not without risk, and deeply poetic. Thanks Joel and Emily and Happy Sailing.

Checking the charts near the shallow spot

Dad's turn at the tiller
First opening bridge
A floating billboard

Look Ma! No engine!

No way is this going to fit...

Are you SURE it's going to fit?

One happy boat on the mooring
One happy captain on his boat.

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